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Blair 8, Us 7, Canada 6, New Zealand 5, Msnbc 4, Washington 4, U.s. 4, Alex 4, Massachusetts 4, Iraq 4, Halifax 4, Obama 4, Tony Blair 4, Nova Scotia 3, Maine 2, New England 2, New York 2, Mexico 2, America 2, Chatham 2,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC News Live    News/Business. Live news coverage,  
   breaking news and current news events. New.  

    September 4, 2010
    7:00 - 8:00am EDT  

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tracking earl. the one time hurricane leaves parts of the northeast power less and under water. the danger now, beach erosion and rip currents. force of nature. a strong earthquake levels parts of new zealand, but there's a good side of the story amid all the debris, even miraculous you could say. new jobs numbers, why some say there is a silver lining. living longer. a new study suggests tipping back a few might help, but there are dangers in drink too. good morning, everyone, i'm alex whit, welcome to "msnbc saturday." we start with tropical storm earl, which continues its track
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north along the east coast this morning. right now the storm has started bearing down on canada. it's about 145 miles southwest of halifax, nova scotia. its close skirt up the eastern sea board was less intense than originally feared. the storm is still kicking up dangerous rip currents, though. kevin is live for us in rockport, massachusetts. it looks pretty as a picture behind you. >> reporter: absolutely, you know. earl, we hardly knew you, thank goodness. because here in rockport, this harbor would be filled with boats and a lot of them have been pulled out of the water. and the good news is this morning that everything planned for rockport and the gloucester area out here in massachusetts is being put back on and all the labor day celebrations are going to be taking place. and they're going to be taking place as many people here
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breathe a sigh of relief. because this storm did go through here last night. it's gray and there's a little bit of rain coming down, but nothing like had been predicted all week long from this fierce force four hurricane that was going to be coming through here. fortunately, it was just sort of a storm when it came through here last night. and as you just mentioned, it's heading its way up north to canada towards halifax, and now people up there are being told to be on the lookout for earl in their neighborhood. but the good news here along the massachusetts coast and in places like chatham and nantucket, everyone this morning is getting out of bed, peeking out the windows and finding out that really this storm did not leave as much damage as had been feared, alex. >> i think the question is how many people will take to their boats behind you and go sailing today. >> reporter: absolutely. >> a lot, you think? if it picks up, the wind, to get them to sail. let's get the latest on earl's track. bill, good morning.
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>> good saturday morning to you, alex. and earl just brushed nantucket last night, passing safely about 100 miles off the coast. and that meant winds just around 40 to 50 miles per hour. very minor damage, if any, from new england overnight last night. the storm is about to make its landfall. it's now coming onshore here in nova scotia, strong winds and a little bit of storm surge because of the angle of the coastline. in maine, we only have winds gusting 20 to 30 miles per hour. it's going to get wet for the next four or five hours, and then the storm will be completely gone. let me show you a couple of views of storm. it appears almost to be an eye, the circle in the middle. not quite an eye, but that's definitely the center of the storm. look at the back edge through new england. it is going to be a sunny, beautiful day today in areas like boston where the clouds will only last another couple of hours because the storm is going to cruise into the canadian maritimes today.
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the tropical storm-force gusts are moving into canada, moving off and away from the islands out there on the cape. here's a look at the forecast path. and this storm, when i say racing, moving 40 to 50 miles per hour later on today. by 2:00 p.m., it should be well north of halifax. and then tonight into about 2:00 a.m. or so, it's going to cruise through the canadian maritimes and it will significantly weaken to a remnant low. we have a couple of tropical storm warnings from bar harbor, maine, to eastport. the legacy today and the danger is going to be at the beaches. it was a huge storm, the ocean is still churned up. we still have 15 foot waves 7 to 8 to 6-foot waves all the way down to jersey shore and down around maryland. the life guards will probably be trying to get people out of the water or wading up to their knees today, alex. that's going to be the worst of it. the weather this weekend looks fantastic. we're just about done with tropical storm earl. back to you.
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>> thank you very much, bill karins. earl is also causing problems on new york-area beaches. we've got a live report coming up later this hour. clean up begins this morning after a massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake rocked the second largest city in new england. take a look at the dramatic pictures of destruction. the powerful early morning tremors leaving destruction everywhere. that hit 19 miles west of christchurch, a population of 400,000. >> it was 4:00 in the morning, the bed was rattling and moving back and forth a little bit. and my partner said to me, is that an earthquake? and i said, yes, it's definitely an earthquake. we went out of the house and noticed broken pipes, the yard started to flood. >> wow. well, veronica de la cruz joins me with more. do you know why this is being called a miracle? >> residents woke up to a scary
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ordeal. you just saw those pictures as this major earthquake shook the town before dawn. people spilled out on to the streets around 4:30 a.m. local time. two people were hospitalized for serious injuries, new zealand's prime minister said it was a miracle no one lost their life as you can see by these pictures. officials declared the city under a state of emergency. and early estimates for the damage caused by the quake stand at $1.4 billion. but the mayor of christchurch, says it could be months before the full toll of the disaster is known. >> in some ways, we've been extraordinarily lucky when it's come to the citizens here. but in terms of the scale of the damage, i think it's absolutely immense. and we are really just beginning to come to terms with the scale of what we've got in front of us at the moment. >> the quake caused major damage to the city's infrastructure. bridges have collapsed and busted sewage and water systems flooded the streets. officials are also warning of
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falling debris from crumbling buildings, especially as aftershocks continue to rumble through the region. at least 29 after shocks have been recorded with strengths of up to 5.4. police say early instances of looting have been contained. the focus of city officials now is assessing all of that damage and planning how to get the city back on its feet, alex. >> that's a lot of damage to clean up for sure. all right, veronica, thanks so much. well, right now, the damage blowout preventer at the well that sent millions of gallons of crude spilling into the gulf is slowly being brought up to the surface. bp successfully replaced that damage preventer with a new device yesterday and no oil or gas seen leaking from the well during the entire procedure. so the process to lift the old cap to the surface could take about 24 to 36 hours. in about 20 minutes from now, we'll be speaking with charles hadlock on how this paves the way for the well to be permanently killed. new word from president obama this morning as the economy all but takes over his agenda in the week ahead.
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he's going to hit the road with new measures aimed at boosting the economy. the president is also reminding voters of what came before him. >> for a decade, middle class families felt the sting of stagnant incomes and declining income security. companies were rewarded with tax breaks for creating jobs overseas. wall street firms turned huge profits by taking in some cases reckless risks and cutting corners. >> good saturday morning to you, mike. we have the latest jobs report this week. and it shows -- as you can't tell anything but a wobbly recovery really. what does the white house have planned? >> reporter: there's high-profile events coming up next week on the economy and not a moment too soon by the light of many democrats here in washington. the president will head to milwaukee, speak before an aflcio labor day gathering, and then head to cleveland on wednesday where he will deliver what's being billed as a major
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economic address. and alex, we do expect some new proposals coming forth from the president to try to right this economic ship. he heads back to washington on friday. he will hold a press conference. time tba, but the economy is expected to dominate. all this comes on the heels of good news but a lot of bad news for the democrats and for the millions of people out of work. and this nation's economy, alex. 9.6% yesterday, the labor department reported the unemployment rate ticks up .1%. there was good news by the lights of the market and the president and his staff here in the white house. and that is the economy created private sector jobs for the eighth consecutive month. nowhere near enough jobs to bring down that top line unemployment rate. it was offset by a lot of government workers, census workers who were temporary workers who ironic enough when they were hired earlier in the year brought down the rate and now the rate went back up when they're finished with their jobs. nowhere near strong enough to bring down that 9.6% number, and
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that is political trouble for democrats. that's the number everyone's focusing on. >> that's what everyone says it's all about that number. we'll get with you next hour again. thanks so much. let's get more perspective on the jobs numbers. and joining me vera gibbons. good morning to you. all eyes on the jobs report. what's the take away as you see? >> well, the numbers came in better than expected as mike mentioned,which is why the market rallied the way it did. overall, still a tough picture. but the market took it in stride because the numbers were better than expected, which alleviates fears about a double-dip. and that's -- there you go. >> i want to focus on this 67,000 number we saw in the private jobs sector. we still need a lot more jobs from that area specifically. >> that's exactly right. the private sector is the growth engine here. and it's not happening. 67,000, again, that was better than expected. really need to see the economy growing at several times the current clip if we're going to see some real job growth here.
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just to put this in perspective, it would take 15 million new jobs to be created over the next five years to return to full employment. so something that would look a little more normal. >> 15 million over five years? >> 15 million over the next five years. >> 15 million? >> yes, a lot. so we're not going to see that because a lot of the jobs we've lost are gone forever. >> do you see some sort of new norm in the workforce out there today? >> as you know, alex, the new norm is sort of part-time, contract, freelance work. the companies have the money. they're sitting on the cash, but it's expensive to bring new people in, to add them to their payrolls, complicated to bring them in. also the way it's structured makes it very difficult to bring new employees in. small businesses at this stage should be hiring, they're the ones that take us out, bring us the first ones to actually hire in a recovery. and instead, some of these small businesses are being strangled literally out of existence. >> yeah. all right. vera gibbons, we're going to have to get some silver lining next time you're up here.
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new allegations this morning in the massive recall of salmonella tainted eggs. two former workers at wright county egg farm which recalled the majority of the 480 million eggs say that for years they tried to sound the alarm to the u.s. department of agriculture. the workers said the usda ignored their complaints. the usda says they don't recall anyone raising concerns. texas has opened an
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anti-trust inquiry into google. the probe was spurred by complaints that the company has abused its power as the internet's dominant search engine. powerful winds force the cancellation of some ferry services across lake michigan yesterday. the national weather service calling for 8 to 12-foot waves this morning. yeah, those e closures are for today. tropical storm earl is getting ready to cross into canada today after delivering a blow to coastal communities along the eastern sea board, the storm is lumbering north. as earl blew by friday, many residents are keeping a close eye on beach erosion. >> most of the beach is gone, yeah. definitely. i can -- you can tell. it's up to the dune here. well, hopefully within a day or two, it'll be back. >> the weather channel's mike seidel is live for us in long
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island in montak. today things look gorgeous behind you. >> reporter: it is. it's another gorgeous day out here in the hamptons. i know you'll be out here later, alex. the sun is up, the surf is pounding, we're talking about erosion. all the way down, you can see the fence. about 8 to 10 inches of it. before earl hit, the fence was up about here. so this storm not only took sand out, but brought a lot of sand in, about 3 feet here. it's eating away at this berm. now we've got about half that. so for succeeding storms, that means less protection. surf this morning, well, we've got about 4 to 6-footers out there, far cry from yesterday's 10-footers, which shut down the beaches not only here but all the way down to the carolinas. two drownings. today the beaches are open, but
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it'll be determined this morning with meetings up and down the east coast whether they'll allow swimmers to go and how far they'll let them go in. they're going to make the call at 10:00 a.m. at how far swimmers can go in. things will be better tomorrow as the waves subside, the rip current threat will go away or at least lessen considerably on sunday. beautiful labor day weekend. fortunately earl was more of a, you know, more of a brush by for most areas. we had sporadic power outages up in cape cod, the outer banks, peak wind gust 82 miles an hour. but for most, it was not too bad. it's the beaches that really took the ham erimering. >> i wish i were heading out there later. so i'll take a rain check. next time you can find us some lovely beach, i'll join you next time. >> reporter: okay. sure. officials are advising travelers north of the border to keep a close eye on tropical storm earl. flights, ferries, and bridge access weather-permitting along the coast of canada.
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tropical storm warnings extend farther north. as the u.s. begins its new mission in iraq, the white house is gearing up for a mission of its own, getting president obama reelected. tuesday's oval office speech had two campaign-style trademarks. one, claiming credit for keeping a promise. and two, making new promises for what lies ahead. let's bring in editor in chief of "national journals hot line." reed, good morning. >> good morning, alex. how are you? >> i'm fine, thanks. and i found this most curious because this 2012 presidential campaign won't be a thing about the war in iraq in all likelihood, it's going to be about the economy. and with many americans still suffering, how can he highlight the end of combat in iraq when people are more concerned with jobs? >> well, that's what he tried to do. the ending war in iraq was really the campaign promise that propelled him both through the democratic primaries and the
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election. it was his differentiating point between himself and hillary clinton and himself and john mccain. now in this speech it was very telling that he talked about not only the end of combat operations in iraq, but that his most important prerogative as president is to fix the economy. that's not something we're used to hearing from a wartime president. he has -- it was a full pivot, if you will. and now president obama has really signaled that the economy is going to get his entire focus. you heard mike viqueira a few minutes ago talking about the three events next week, stops across the country and a news conference on the economy. and that's what democrats really want to see the president doing is talking about the economy, talking up the accomplishments of the democrats over the last two years, and really framing them in a positive way before this midterm election. that being said, when you talk about the unemployment report, the jobs report we saw on friday, it's going to be hard to do. people are pessimistic. >> yeah, absolutely. so do you see these upcoming
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appearances and speeches as stump speeches? >> they're the beginning of them. this is a two-year process. then again, some people say once you get in the oval office, you never stop running for president. so as he sort of gears up this process and builds a campaign team and prepares for running for reelection, the economy is going to dominate. you know, 60%, 70% of voters are saying the economy is the most important issue. the economy is still going to be in a bad way come 2011 or 2012. it's going to dominate that campaign. >> i'm curious as the midterms approach in the next couple of months, the president's unwelcome in many swing districts, reid. what does that say about his political pull today and what it might say about two years from now? >> well, president obama can do some things for the democrats. he can raise a lot of money. that's what he's trying to do. we've seen him at fundraisers everywhere from new york to los angeles and seattle and everywhere in between.
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you're not going to see a lot of campaign-style rallies where he goes out and says, hey, vote for candidate x or candidate y. and there are a lot of places where president obama is not welcome on the campaign trail and democrats would rather disassociate themselves from him. there's a congressional candidate -- a member of congress from indiana who is actually running against speaker pelosi's energy tax. and you know, the running against the democrats in washington. that's really a way that democrats will be able to survive this year if they're able to convince voters that they're going to washington to be an independent voice, standing next to the president doesn't really convey that message. >> in the "national journal's hotline." >> thanks a lot, alex. some super cute twins made a debut in japan. the pandas have quadrupled their weight from when they were born, they now weigh about 1.5 pounds each. zoo keepers say that mama panda's adjusting well. this is the second pair of twins she's raised.
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get dual action listerine® whitening® rinse. building whiter, stronger teeth. heavy tourist traffic is putting the frescos of the sistine chapel in danger. a recent cleaning found unimaginable amounts of dust on those paintings. experts say the dust could eventually damage the paintings. as many as 20,000 people visit that chapel every day. and experts say each visitor adds to the visible cloud of dirt, dandruff, and other debris that floats up to the ceiling. bp has removed the failed blowout preventer that was supposed to stop the oil disaster from ever happening. charles hadlock joins me now from louisiana with more on that. a very early good morning to you, charles. >> reporter: good morning to you, alex. >> how is that operation coming along? i understood it was supposed to come up from the depth of the
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gulf very slowly. >> reporter: very, very slowly. it should come out of the water later today. that's what the coast guard is telling us, anyway, at the direction of the coast guard, bp has disconnected the failed blowout preventer and is now slowly raising it to the surface of the gulf of mexico. it's a key piece of the investigation. they want to find out exactly what went wrong. so they're going to bring this blowout preventer slowly up out of the water. this thing is five stories tall and weighs 1 million pounds. now, once they get it back onshore, they're going to take it apart piece by piece to try to determine exactly what went wrong. why did it fail? why did it fail to stop the flow of gas and oil in the gulf of mexico triggering the explosion that killed 11 workers and led to the largest oil disaster in american history? alex? >> okay. charles hadlock, we'll check in again and get the progress, the update from you. thanks so much. >> sure. the world according to tony blair. he has a new and controversial
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that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. it's "msnbc saturday." i'm alex whit. and half past the hour, here are your fast five headlines. what was once hurricane earl is now a tropical storm heading right for nova scotia. earl failed to pack that punch that was feared. new zealand's prime minister says it's an absolute miracle that no one was killed in yesterday's powerful earthquake. the 7.1 magnitude quake has caused extensive damage. also in new zealand, nine people are dead after a plane crash just after takeoff. that plane was carrying sky divers. in china, 17 people are dead after a flat tire caused a bus to lose control and crash into oncoming traffic. and president obama's preparing to announce next week new steps to create jobs. analysts say it will likely include tax cuts and targeted
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spending. and those are your fast five headlines. let's go back to tropical storm earl right now. it has left a few hundred people without power this morning in massachusetts. the storm downed a handful of power lines and flooded a few low-lying areas of cape cod after passing through the area evernig overnight. here's the good news, it was weaker than expected. right now, canada is feeling the storm's effects. earl is currently about 145 miles southwest of halifax, nova scotia. let's check out the scene with you this morning. good morning, what's it like? looks pretty. >> reporter: good morning, alex. it is a gorgeous morning out here, shaping up to be a sunny day. it turns out that earl's spin was no worse than a classic nor'easter. earl proving even as a category one hurricane he had enough punch left to pound the coast of nantucket. the island received the brunt of
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the storm with earl carving its path east of nantucket, not far away on cape cod. heavy rain and whipping winds left their mark. but even the power of earl was no match for this bride and groom. >> celebrating the acknowledgment of love which margo and hugh for each other. >> reporter: they married, determined not to let a hurricane spoil their special day. >> it'll always be memorable, that's for sure. it's given us plenty of challenges, but nothing's stopping us. >> reporter: or their happily ever after. >> i hope not. we had a whirlwind romance. a hurricane just throws some excitement to it. there is a strange excitement with a hurricane. >> reporter: hurricane earl barrelled toward the u.s. as a menacing category four but lost steam on the outer banks of north carolina. the weather channel's jim cantore was in hard-hit cape hatteras. >> we are still taking it on the
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chin. this water is compliments and it continues to push up with these strong northerly winds. >> reporter: earl made a turn, setting its sights on the northeast coast, kicking up surf on new york's long island and creating dangerous rip currents up and down the coast. but in the end, earl will go down as a near miss for much of the coast. and those who were once bracing for the worst can now look ahead to enjoying the rest of this holiday weekend. and again, in and around the cape and also nantucket, reports of minimal damage, but emergency crews did have utility vehicles as well as cleanup crews in position before the storm hit. so any damage that they do find this morning, alex, they'll be able to take care of pretty quickly. >> that's good. and i'm happy for the folks in chatham they'll have a nice labor day weekend, it seems. thank you so much, michelle franzen. we will continue, of course, to watch the latest impact of tropical storm earl and bring you more live reports at the top of the hour.
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it had all of the appearances of a disaster. a small plane in portland, oregon, stalling and then crashing nose first right into a house. look at those pictures there. incredibly, the 70-year-old pilot survived and was able to walk out on his own. and there was a woman in the house. remarkably, she too escaped without serious injury. that's a great story there. meantime, the colorado family involved in that bizarre balloon boy hoax last year has moved to florida. officials say that richard hene has registered as a registered felon. he and his wife pled guilty to the charges. he served 30 days in jail, his wife served 20. let's go to the job market today. we now know that private employers added 67,000 jobs in august. it's a bigger gain than was expected. and while unemployment rose in august for the first time in four months, analysts say that rise is largely due to these two things. first, thousands of temporary census jobs have just come to an end.
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secondly, more people are jumping into the job market and looking for work. i'm joined now live by cnbc senior economics reporter steve liesman, whom we're very glad to have here this morning. good morning. >> good morning. you can add it to earl, the plane crash, and new zealand as sort of near misses and good news stories this weekend. >> i think, but is it a good news story? i'm hard pressed to see the silver lining. 9.6% bothers me. >> it should. and the job market is very weak. but i think the issue is, first of all, a lot of people were expecting a lot worse. there was concern this economy was heading back down into recession. this number today, which you correctly point out 114,000 census jobs came off. and we added 67,000 private sector jobs, that's weak and it's really too weak to absorb the unemployed or the new entrance into the workforce, that's why the unemployment rate went up, but it was a lot better than expected and suggests we're not falling off a cliff if that's one of the metrics you're
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after. >> okay. why is it taking so long, though, for this recovery to include getting jobs up and running? >> i think there's a couple reasons. first of all, there was a recent study done by two pretty well known economists that found that when you have a deep financial crisis it could take up to five to six years to recover. it's just the way things work. you don't have -- the lending is not out there for small businesses to get loans. and they create a lot of the jobs in the economy. people are saving more, which in the long run is a good thing, in a short run, that means less growth and a lot of the malls out there where retail stores are out there aren't really needed anymore. people are not spending as much as they did before. there's a lot of economic uncertainty. having just been through a deep downturn, people expect -- you're not really sure if we're going to have the kind of growth we had before. so employers, even though companies are flushed with profits, they're reluctant to hire and reluctant to spend. then there's the tax changes coming, the large deficits. how are we going to handle
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those? that creates uncertainty. >> here's the problem i have with these companies sitting on large piles of cash. i'm trying to figure out who is going to blink first in this game. don't corporate executives -- they're beholden to the economy. they've got to keep their profits up, as well. but if they start hiring, doesn't that then bleed into every other part of the economy? >> and the opposite of that, alex, is the tragedy -- that creates less income, fewer jobs, and we have a decline -- you have a decline in the economy. you need that to happen -- you need people to have the confidence that the customers are going to come in the door. and we keep hearing that at cnbc time and time again. we're just not certain of the demand. if people were certain of the demand, they'd hire people. they don't want to lose these sales, they want to make these sales. but if they're not sure people are coming in the door, they're not going to hire people to service them. >> the president's going to announce new measures to help the economy immediately. what can the government do? and is there any appetite at all
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for a second stimulus? >> not very much at all. what the president can do, i believe, is really at the margin. given all the political driver against deficits right now, there is not the political appetite for another big stimulus plan. the president has this $30 billion bill to help loan to small businesses out there. kind of languishing in the senate right now. that's one thing he can do. they're talking about some payroll tax cuts out there. that probably on a temporary measure, anything he does now is going to be prescribed or limited by the larger debate in the political sphere about deficits and how to solve them long-term. >> what do you think the bottom line is in terms of what it's going to take to get us out of this mess? >> i think the real answer is time. and the right government policies. i think the government has to kind of explain to us what it's going to do near term to sta start -- to start the economy going. but also, explain long-term how it's going to solve the deficit problem. that's the first thing. and if we can get a little more stability out there, maybe you
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have some more confidence on the part of employers to start hiring people. but ultimately, there's stuff to work through the system, there's a lot of foreclosures out there, excesses in the -- in the housing market. there's excesses in parts of the economy where at the end of the day, it's just a matter of time. hopefully we can keep chugging along here with positive growth. it's a lot easier to get to where we need to go than dipping down into recession. >> you know the folks listening are like, time, really? >> if i could one more thing, alex, one of the biggest issues is the duration of unemployment. in this recession we've seen the unemployed stay unemployed longer. and there's a place where if you ask me, i think the government ought to get involved. i'm not sure the private sector can put people back to work by themselves who have been out of work for 99 weeks, which is what we're seeing with some people out there. >> darn glad you have a job and you come and share with us. thank you. >> thank you.
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tony blair talks about the criticism president obama has been facing. bristol palin ends up in the "tonight show" spotlight and talks about getting over levi. and the new study on secrets to living long suggests you better drink up. seriously. that and more when "msnbc saturday" continues. talk to th. they go through every car and truck we make with a big fat red pencil. because they know a family's going to be inside. a teenager. a guy on the way to the job. the engineers of chevrolet. just another reason why we can offer a 5-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. and another reason why a chevy's a chevy. a 5-year 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. no oil has flowed into the gulf for weeks,
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atrial fibrillation and strokes, and get advice on how to live with afib. and with this valuable information in your hand, talk to your doctor. call 1-877-904-afib today. former british prime minister tony blair is revealing his private opinions of america's presidents in a new memoir released just this week. in "a journey my political life," he chronicles ten years as prime minister and behind the scenes talks with leaders of the u.s. the book is already a best seller on both sides of the atlantic, but it's not a hit with everybody. in fact, in ireland today, at blair's first public book signing, anti-war protesters threw shoes and eggs at blair chanting he had blood on his hands. sounds like they took a clue from an iraq journalist. we have deputy managing editor of "time" magazine.
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so good to have you here to talk about this. he's really an outsider who's the ultimate insider when he talks about certain things he was exposed to in the presidency. someone with high access to the highest levels of government but still with a foreign take on things. is that how you would see that partially? >> absolutely. in the american introduction edition of the book, the special essay he did this week, as british prime minister you get to see american presidents up close pretty closely, but you're an outsider. he became very, very close to two american presidents, bill clinton and george bush. what he does in the book and did in the essay for us is explain why he came to respect both of them enormously. but he does have this privileged position. he's semi-detached. not quite an insider to the american political system but sees it often enough to make some sharp comments on it. >> and he makes very sharp comments. let's talk about what he says of bill clinton. "he was as he remains the most
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f formidable politician i ever encountered" and calls him a brilliant thinker who has rapport with people. >> i think the point blair wanted to get across about clinton was he was not just a brilliant politician, not just a brilliant schmoozer. the point blair wanted to get across was he was a guy who had a thought through idea of what he wanted to do in government, a thought through philosophy, if you like. and blair emphasizes that point over and over and over again. it's very plain to me that clinton had an enormous impact on the way in which blair thought of what you did with political power. >> and there's tremendous admiration. you can read that, feel that in tony blair towards bill clinton. i like the anecdote about the tuesday night mcdonald's run. >> and it's faded resort down in england.
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clinton add midnight decides i'm going to go to mcdonald's and a diet coke. >> goes and does it. >> terrific. >> let's get to what he talks about with george bush. and the quote "i have come to admire the simplicity, directness, almost the boldness of george. ." he says bush has great intuition. it wouldn't have put these two together because perhaps of the -- >> you wouldn't have predicted it at all. coming from different political positions, different backgrounds, wouldn't have predicted it at all. i think what it was about bush that blair admired was the straightforwardness, the directness, the sense of rooted values that didn't shift. which gave him in blair's view this tremendous sense of calm. he keeps talking about bush's calm. and in the white house on that day september 20th, 2001,
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getting ready with bush to make the big speech in congress. and looks to bush and says, are you nervous? no, not really. i've got this speech. i know what i'm going to say. >> he was a man of conviction. >> extraordinary. and it's moving the way he talks about bush throughout the book because there's a lot in 2001. but then through the iraq war, when the two of them worked together very, very closely. and he keeps coming back to this sense of a man who absolutely knew what he wanted to do who didn't always take the trouble to explain what it was that he wanted to do. >> right. he had his mind set, but -- interesting. michael eliot, we'll have you back in a couple of hours also to talk about barack obama. meantime, bristol palin stopped by the "tonight show" with jay leno last night. she's promoting her upcoming stint on "dancing with the stars." jay asked bristol for an update on her ex-fiance levi johnston. >> isn't he running for mayor of
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wasilla. >> i guess that's the rumor. >> let me ask you a question -- >> yeah. >> would you vote for him? >> well, he needs to move to wasilla to the city limits. and he needs to get his g.e.d. >> got to get a g.e.d. >> palin says she decided to do "dancing with the stars" despite the fact she's never danced before. and when jay asked her if she'd gone to her prom. bristol said no, i was pregnant. well, a new study suggests that regular consumption of alcohol can actually help you live longer. the study says people over 55 who put away one or two drinks a day live much longer than heavy drinkers and non-drinkers. we're going to get an explanation from dr. robert lee at the jersey city medical center. good morning to you. >> good morning, alex. how are you? >> i'm well, thank you. and i don't have more than two drinks a day, so it sounds good for me at this point. but are you surprised at all by
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this study? >> not surprised. we heard for many, many years that moderate drinking, that's one to two drinks a day will help you live longer. there's a to do that and they worry -- interested in the other compounds that are in alcohol like wine. one to two drinks, it kind of surprised me, between the ages of 55 and 65, a 20-year study showed if you abstain from drinking completely, your mortality was higher, and if you overdid it, of course -- >> you were the highest if you overdo it. >> right. especially people between 55 and 65 which is not that old. but people do fall, they have car accidents, they have personal accidents that result in shortening of their life span. so it was a pretty interesting study. >> so everyone understands the way drinks are classified, a 12-ounce glass of beer, a 5 ounce glass of wine or 1 1/2 ounces of hard liquor. those are the parameters right
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there. what are some of the benefits of alcohol in the body? what are they? >> obviously a calming effect. many years ago when i was in training i remember writing in the order sheet, spirits per menti which is buzzword for alcohol. it vasodilates your vascular system and calms the patient. it was used as a sedative. we never did it to excess in the hospital. that's not the case anymore. people do drink sometimes to excess sometimes to calm down after a tough day or week. the biological effects really are not that well document sgld can you ever envision a time when a doctor writes a prescription for someone and says drink some alcohol? >> no. i can never envision that. >> okay. despite the study. good to know. moderation is key. >> moderation is the key. absolutely true. >> dr. lahita, good to see you. >> thank you. it starts with a bang and
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more americans than last year will be taking the the road and the sky this labor day weekend. 34.4 million people will vacation this weekend traveling more than 50 miles from home this year. it's up about 10% from last year. joining me is robert sinclair from aaa new york. good day to you. >> good day. >> why is this such a big travel weekend. >> every travel weekend is busy in this country. americans get the fewest number of vacation days than any industrialized country in the world. it's usually about 15. the next one is japanese, that worker bee of a nation, they get
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25 vacation days and up from there. when we get a built-in weekend or extra day, we take advantage of it. >> how is it happening this weekend, by airline or by road? >> 91% by road and the biggest increase is by road travel. the airlines have their problems and they're trying to rebound. overwhelmingly the automobile is the popular way of traveling over a holiday weekend. >> how about median price in terms of how much people are going to spend? up or down this year? >> slightly up. sorry. slightly down. the distance is slightly up, around 600 miles and about $630 they're spending. not really a significant transition, but something that indicates that people still have a little money to spend. the idea that the average trip is more than 600 miles is an important one. >> that's interesting because you're going to be paying for gas if you're driving. >> gas is relatively cheap. about $2.70 nationwide. people remember $4.00 a gallon. so this seems like a bargain to
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them. >> do you think people are saving or spending a little less money because of deals in hotels? >> actually two and three-diamond hotels are up slightly. but the booking we're seeing -- aaa is the largest leisure travel agency -- we're seeing book innings up by about 10%. >> do you get a sense that people are going for the more inexpensive staycations. >> people are staying close to home. there's a pent-up demand. people see a glimmer of hope in the economy. they tend to take advantage of these things. the job situation is still bad, but household net worth is up, and a lot of people have paid down a lot of their debt. so there's this perception perhaps there's a little glimmer of hope on the horizon and they take advantage of that. >> want to reward themselves. robert sinclair, thank you, have a good weekend. >> thank you. who can forget the video of the man who caught a glimpse of two stunning rainbows. those rainbows have led him to a
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relative pot of gold. we're explain on msnbc saturday. [ male announcer ] let's throw on those saturday clothes.
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